Happy Thursday! Today is a another travel-related topic that has been highly requested: how to plan for a stress-free vacation. I apologize ahead of time for how long this post is going to be. Most people go on vacations hoping for a relaxing, stress-free stay and more often than not, it turns into running from place to place, never sitting down and jam-packing a million things into four days. I always feel like I come home from my vacations…and need another vacation. LOL. So, in order to combat that, I’ve come up with my top 10 ways to plan and prepare for a stress-free vacation. Let’s do this.
I’m getting ready to go to NYFW (EEP) and I’m so excited. It’s going to be a FREAKING BLAST but it’s also already stressing me out. LOL. So, I decided to sit down and really figure out what it takes to plan and prepare for a vacation that will actually let you relax, instead of cause you low-key anxiety.
TIP ONE: Bring the right shoes.
I know those heels are gorgeous. TRUST ME. I KNOW. But, are they actually practical? There are SO many options for cute AND comfortable. You don’t need to break your feet and cut off your toes in the name of fashion. Recognize if you are going to be walking around a lot, and then bring the right shoes for that. I’ve brought heels when I should have brought flats to vacations and then couldn’t even enjoy my trip because my feet hurt so bad. JUST SAY NO AND BRING THE FLATS.
TIP TWO: Use space saver bags.
These will save your life. If you can only take a carry-on somewhere, space saver bags will be your best friend. I have been able to pack 15 outfits + accessories + toiletries + shoes in one carry-on, thanks to these babies. Soak that in: I didn’t have to check bag, and I had 15 outfits + all the trimmings. It was amazing. So, I can leave on my vacations with as many outfits as I need to feel comfortable. Even if that means packing 10 outfits for 3 days. Because I can.
TIP THREE: Make arrangements for mail, pets and your home.
Do this a month ahead of time. When it’s crunch time for your trip, you won’t be panicked about who’s watering your plants, or feeding your cat or getting your mail. It’ll already be done — and you won’t have to worry about it. I know I can leave my cats for a few days, but any longer than that, and someone needs to come check on them. Making sure that this is taken care of way ahead of time means less stress for you the day of.
TIP FOUR: Clean your house before leaving.
The worst thing in the WORLD to me is coming home from vacation to a MESSY HOUSE. I don’t like mess to begin with, but it seems to multiply when I come home from trip. I know that all I want to do when I get home is unpack and sit down. If you make sure your cleaning is done before hand, you will have WAY less to stress about on your trip (if you are OCD like me, anyways. If you don’t care about a clean house or not, then you can skip this step).
TIP FIVE: Make yourself as “unreachable” as possible.
Turn off your phones, leave your laptop in the hotel room and forget about the rest of the world. You DESERVE a vacation so make sure it feels like one. If you are constantly plugged in to social media, it’s not wonder you can’t relax! Leave it at home, leave it in your suite, turn it off…whatever you need to do to unwind and unplug.
TIP SIX: Get your travel documents ready before hand.
I was like wonder woman planning for our honeymoon. I had a manilla folder I brought with me everywhere when we were traveling with all our important documents. We were leaving the country so I made sure we had slots for passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, emergency money, booking receipts, etc. ESPECIALLY if you are leaving the country, you’ll need these documents reachable and all together so keeping them in a folder in your carryon or backpack is ideal and will cut down on “OH NO I FORGOT XYZ” stress when you are traveling.
TIP SEVEN: Take care of flights / driving arrangements / to-and-from airport details a month or more before hand
Ideally, science says you should book your flight 2-3 months before your trip to get the best deal. READ THIS POST to get all the info on how to book the cheapest flights every time. If you are driving, make sure your route is good to go, determine when you will be stopping for gas or an overnight hotel. RE: the previous tip – make sure you have booking documents / maps / etc. handy so you can easily reach them. If someone is driving you to and picking you up from the airport, make sure you touch base with them beforehand and they know when you need to be so you aren’t racing to the airport or potentially missing your flight (NOBODY has time for that).
TIP EIGHT: Set up automatic bill payments.
If you don’t already have this set up (although I highly recommend doing autopay whenever you can), now is the perfect time to start. You won’t have to worry about paying your mortgage/rent or your student loan payments (which is a source of stress for anyone) while on your vacay — because literally no one wants to say “hold on, you guys go to the beach, I have to pay bills real quick”. Set it and forget it is my favorite motto for stuff like this. Make your vacay about having a good time.
TIP NINE: Make a packing list.
Or use MINE if you don’t wanna go through all the trouble. Make yourself a comprehensive checklist to follow so you don’t forget anything. How many times have we all left the house and had to turn around because we forgot a phone charger (or in my case, my actual phone). I make two lists usually. A packing list and a “home” list. My home list consists of everything I need to go through in my house and check before we leave. Lights, outlets, cords, etc. I have been known to leave on ovens and hair straighteners when leaving my house so a list like this is super important for me.
PIN THIS FOR LATER:
Ok guys, well there you have it. NINE fool-proof tips for planning and prepping for a completely stress free vacation. Planning for these things is KEY to making sure that you don’t over do it getting ready for your trip. It should be ENJOYABLE. Let yourself relax!
Let me know in the comments below what you do to prep for your vacations! Is there anything I forgot??